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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  February 20, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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congress and the white house can't get it all together. we're going to talk to the chairman of the joint economic committee, the same man who unseated rick santorum, senator bob casey joins us live to talk about 2012. hi, everybody, great to have you with me. i am thomas roberts. here is what's on the agenda this hour. social issues, they are front and center in the race to face president obama, with rick santorum being the poster boy for the republican rhetoric leveled against the white house, over topics ranging from contraception to religious principles. the santorum surge caught the eye of the president's re-election team after comments he made on the trail this weekend. take a look. >> it's not about you, about your quality of life, not about your jobs, it is about some phony ideal, some phony theology, not a theology based on the bible, no less a theology. >> the president of the united states is exercising his values and trumping the values of the
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church. you don't want to call it theology, you can have them let me know what they want to call it. >> joining me now, al sharpton. host of politics nation. nice to see you. a lot of talk about what happened on the trail, then reporters, journalists picked up on the santorum statements. here is what he had to say, his reaction to responses over the weekend. >> i wasn't suggesting the president is not a christian. i accept the fact that the president is a christian. i have repeatedly said i don't question the president's faith. i repeatedly said i believe the president is a christian, he says he is a christian, but i am talking about his world view or his -- the way he approaches problems in this country, and i think they're different than how most people do in america. >> reverend, we talk about what's taking place on the campaign trail, rick santorum giving plates of red meat out to potential supporters, going onto sunday talkers, walking things back, how is the electorate supposed to interpret that, how is the obama white house supposed to interpret that? >> i think you can't interpret
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it but one way, that is he is trying to have it both ways. he said months ago the president says he is a christian, then he walks it back. he comes this weekend talking about phony theology and that he's against the values of the church, then he goes on a sunday show, walks it back. he says black people and food stamps, then he says no, i said blah people. walks it back. there's a pattern here that he is trying to play on the fears and divisions of americans and then try to act like a statesman on sunday morning. and i think he's continuing to get caught in this. if he's going to take a position, take it, stand by it, but don't keep trying to play with the public. and you can't in my opinion, you can't play with the terms theology. theology is what it is. we can have different opinions, different facts. the fact is theology is about someone's religion and faith, it is not about somebody's policies and politics. >> i want to show everybody.
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we have rick santorum peeking live in steubenville ohio as he is on the campaign trail. reverend, in the last hour, rick santorum shifted from the theology discussion to ideology. take a listen. >> ridiculous. what they have done, i referred to it the other day, got criticized by some of our less than arrow diet members of the national press corps. we elevate, look at this ideology of the earth, if you will. and why is it above the interest of man? whereas we all know that man has a responsible of stewards of the earth. >> all right. there's rick santorum, talking about this earlier. here we are. we are members of the national media. we get to talk about this. let's talk about is he being a candidate that's basing his presidential hopes on the book of genesis or the declaration of independence or is it a combination of both? >> well, i think he is trying to say that he's basing it on the
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book of genesis when he says bible based. well, what about those, i'm a baptist minister, practiced and believed in my religion. what about those that don't agree. this is not a thee objecting ris ee, this is a democracy. can we have someone that's running as a candidate in what he feels should be a thee objecting ris ee, be the steward of a democracy, i think that's something he has to deal with. >> it is working against mitt romney. let's look how he is doing in gallup tracking poll. this on the campaign trail where rick santorum has 36%, mitt romney 28%, newt gingrich at 13%. how do you think this translates from the primary to the general? >> i think that it helps him in the primaries because you have a very conservative right wing base. i think it devastates him in the general if he's the nominee. i think that's why the republican establishment that were afraid of gingrich last month are absolutely terrified of santorum because the more he
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runs to that, he alienates independents, moderate republicans, less known democrats. no one is ready to make this a thee objecting ris ee. >> mitt romney having a hard time getting to the right of a candidate like rick santorum, he has a big speech coming up at ford field, a major speech. to see if they go big, go home? >> if he has the capacity to go big, he should. i'm beginning to wonder if he has that capacity. go home might be the only option if he blows it this time. >> i want to switch gears while we have you to talk about what we witnessed over the weekend, watching the services for whitney houston who was laid to rest. you were at those services. a lot has been discussed about the fact that bobby brown left. you've got the inside scoop on that. >> i mean, when i got there, i was preaching a funeral earlier, so i was a little late. when i got there, bobby brown, we were in the pastor's study, and that he was leaving, felt
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disrespected. i called him on his cell phone and talked to him. he said i only came to show love and respect. this was my wife. this is my daughter, bobbi kristina. i think that he did what was respectful. i think the family didn't even know about it. when i talked to cissy houston, whitney's mother, they didn't know he had been there. i think a lot was blown up. i think people ought to leave bobby alone. bobby has an obligation to his daughter, he should be there with his daughter, and i think he was right to give respects to whitney, and i think that everyone is trying to make -- this is not about tabloids, this is about family pain and grief, and i think people should be allowed to grieve. >> it is reported he had an entourage. you say it was his kids. >> it was kids. she was his kids' stepmother. of course they would want to be there. these are his kids. what entourage? i think all of this was driven by tabloid and security. this was not the houston family and bobby. cissy houston i think was one of
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the most dignified funeral services i have seen. >> it was real. reverend al sharpton. remind you, more on the state of 2012, the race tonight on "politics nation." thanks again. >> thank you. turn back to the 2012 race with minneapolis mayor, rt rye back. nice to see you this morning. i want to play for everybody robert gibbs' response to santorum comments we hadn't heard over the weekend. take a listen. >> i can't help but think that those remarks are well over the line. it is wrong, destructive. it makes it virtually impossible to solve the problems we all face together as americans. >> so when newt gingrich had his surge, the dnc, re-election team, they barely noticed. now the former press secretary is taking direct shot at rick santorum. is he filling some of the room reserved for attacks on governor romney now? >> what he's doing actually is continuing the personal attacks own the president, his lidge and
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culture that happened since the beginning. he hasn't been distracted by that. we are in michigan, folks. we should be talking about the fact the president saved the auto industry. that's leadership. rick santorum says he is basing his stuff on the book of genesis. i think it is the book of mark, which is the clueless use of faith to separate people, and it is why he got drummed out of pennsylvania because he was simply unable to stay away from social issues. right now, we need a president that's laser focused on job and job creation, that's barack obama, who also happens to be a person of faith, but does not use it to separate people as rick santorum does. rick santorum has been saying nutty stuff out there. i think we ought to talk about jobs. >> let's switch gears, talk about the economy. there's this frustration that with such good economic news in the past few months that social issues are playing a big role. then if there is a possibility we see arise in this country and
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in the unemployment rate, could the two topics intertwine, snowball to hurt the president politically? >> i think the most important thing is that the american people get the fact they have a president who has not been distracted by craziness on the outside and stayed focused on jobs. when you look at the results, that's what people look at in november. they're going to look at the fact that this president has stood up for middle class americans to get a tax cut while the republicans were trying not to do it. he stood up for investing in communities when the republicans were trying not to, and i think the importance is with all of the craziness going on in the republican party now, thank god we have a president, and let's hope we also get a new congress that's not going to get distracted by all this stuff that has nothing to do with putting americans to work, which is what the president is doing. >> if mitt romney loses in michigan, he is behind rick santorum in the latest poll, does the dnc and obama re-election team make a shift
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towards pointing out the santorum political problems? >> you know, it's always a tough question because the thing we want to be talking about is the thing that's most important, which is jobs. when people say crazy things, you have to call them into account. i think one of the things is that they've had a free ride for a long time. when the president walked in and was dealing with an economy in crisis, the republicans said their number one job was to stop the president. now they can't stop him on his good economic records, they're going to try to throw this other stuff. you bet we'll hit back, but we're also going to continue to layout the positive message of the president. i think that's the key. >> great to see you this morning. thank you. >> thank you. despite stepping down as co-chair, mitt romney's state campaign, the arizona sheriff and gop congressional candidate paul bab u says he is on the ticket. this follows that he threatened to deport a former boyfriend if that man went public with their relationship. fab u, known anti-immigration figure denied the allegations while acknowledging in fact he
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is gay. >> i am here to say that all the allegations in one of the newspapers are absolutely, completely false, except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. because that's the truth. >> daniel wick ee, reporter for the arizona republican joins me. romney is leading arizona 48% in the latest poll. will this hurt romney in terms of him losing family value vote, some say he will lose at his own congressional run? >> i don't think it is going to hurt romney. kind of the national coverage of the sheriff issue has focused on romney, but in arizona, it is a bigger story, and mostly focusing on the sheriff himself who had been a rising star in republican politics in arizona. >> when you say a rising star, because he had a hardcore
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anti-immigration stance, in addition to backing mitt romney, has been a vocal critic of the obama administration. we have seen him in ads with john mccain, they have a political relationship. how have the allegations effected the fact he supports at all. >> a lot of viewers remember him from build the damn fence ad by sarah palin. it is hard to get a feel for how supporters are reacting. story broke late friday, and it broke over the weekend, and today is a holiday, so it's hard to get a real feel. his campaign is insisting supporters have overwhelmed him with their, you know, support and backing and encouragement. >> and the big story here is not that this man is gay, it is the fact he was in a relationship with an immigrant who he allegedly threatened to deport if that relationship made its way to the press, now that it has.
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>> it is an abuse of power story. >> prior to all of this happening, dan, have you avoided discussing his private life, taking any sort of public stance on gay rights or for the lgbt community? however, this is what he is saying saturday. i can be a supporter and get out there and help articulate as we progress as culture and society that there should be individual liberties and freedoms, for any other person to define somebody else's relationship and say it is not okay, that is not who we are as americans. so given those comments, given the fact that we're looking at what is a potential political hypocrite, big time, how does someone like that turn things around for his own campaign, because he is staying in the race for the congressional run. >> right. he previously, you know, his position was sort of like his personal life and his professional life as sheriff, there was no real nexus between them. now that he's running for congress, he's going to have to deal with a lot of the gay rights issues, and he's running in a very tough republican
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primary, rural arizona district that's dominated by the gop. so i think he's got a lot of political challenges on that front ahead of him. how he wants to articulate his positions on these issues. now he can't avoid them. >> arizona political reporter, dan no wick ee. thanks for joining me. appreciate it. >> thanks. gas prices are at an all-time high for this time of year, and expected to go even higher. how the pain at the pump could cause pain for the president. and three expert skiers killed in an avalanche in washington, a fourth one survives. her amazing story coming up. how about we make a big change for just a little money? let's start with a paint we know can do the job. new glidden duo paint plus primer available only at the home depot. one coat does double duty. and fits our budget perfectly. so there's a brand-new room... ...right where the old one used to be. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. new glidden duo paint plus primer.
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welcome back, everybody. united nations inspectors are getting a closer look at iran's nuclear program today, hoping to meet with scientists and tour
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military facilities during the two day trip. iran dropped a number of pre-conditions regarding the nuclear program, paving the way for possible talks with u.s. and european officials. but the iranian regime is responding to tough sanctions from european union by cutting off oil exports to france and great britain. a decision that could lead to a spike in gas prices globally. president obama's popularity has risen with good economic news, but there may be political concern around the corner with those rising gas prices. right now, the price for regular gas is driving up towards 3.60 a gallon. up nearly 20 cents from last month, 40 cents in the past year, with no real signs of slowing down. alisa menendez, host of powerplay on sirius xm radio. and susan, ladies, nice to have you on. republicans need something to politically arm themselves with in the face of good american
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economic data, and the constant source for concern for everyday americans is perfect for him now. how big a problem could this end up being for the white house, talking political pocketbook politics. >> it does feel like déjà vu. if you remember back to 2008 gas issues dominated the summer gas prices. they didn't end up mattering as much when november rolled around. prices had dropped. as you said, not surprising republicans are focusing on gas prices. it is a good issue for them. unfortunately rather than opening this up for a conversation about america's long term energy independence, they're having a conversation that's predicated on nonrealities. right now, domestic oil production is at an eight year high. the obama administration is actually opened up domestic oil production at the same time they have been talking about our long term energy independence future. republicans want to act as though rising gas prices only have to do with domestic oil
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production and it is simply not true. >> but numbers don't lie. that's what people see when they go to the pumps. they don't know the back story, just know what they're paying out of pockets or when they swipe a credit card. want to read this tweet from nate silver. gas prices fell by $1.53 in the final months of the 2008 campaign. did not really help the incumbent party. is this less a political factor than we make it out to be? >> i think it is a significant political factor, when you look at today and the middle east, for voters, they feel the economy may be coming back, it is a fragile situation. now they're going to pumps in coming months and pay more than they have for gas. i don't see prices going down like they do in october, given those situations it will go up and that will be a big political issue. >> it is a constant reminder for people filling up around the country. international issues factor into
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prices. recent actions from iran, horrible winter in europe, increased global demand, could the president's re-election chances be not undone, i mean, that's a hard term, but by these factors out of his purview, especially if the perception is completely different? >> i think that's where this comes down to his ability, his campaign's ability to communicate effectively on this issue, on these issues. i think there are a variety of factors. right now, as you said, you're seeing the president doing incredibly well, favorability rising in polls, in part because of passing the payroll tax cut, in part because unemployment numbers dropped. gas prices will be something they need to talk about, but it exists in a much larger basket of issues. i think he maintains some semblance of control over these things. as long as he can communicate effectively about what he is able to control and what he is not able to control, i think he'll do just fine in november. >> susan, for the right, it is a
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conversation that can be monopolized to their benefit when you talk about rick santorum and mitt romney talking about gas prices, which way they're going and the direction for the country. don't they also besides talking about the american people, what they will do, their plan to make it better if they were in office? >> they absolutely do need to do that. in 2010, the democrats had a problem proving what would have happened or what could have happened. when americans are faced with high gas prices from october, that's what they're going to feel. they're not going to listen to any explanation, whether or not it is in the president's control or not. republicans never miss an opportunity to blow a good situation, unfortunately, it seems like this campaign cycle, so could it end up going too far? perhaps. >> susan del percio, alicia, thank you for being here. two different avalanches in washington state this weekend. another skier is living to tell her story. frank, instead of scratching your way to retirement,
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slopes became death traps. trapped more than a dozen skiers, thousands of feet down a mountainside. one described her experience on the "today" show. >> don't get me wrong, it's not like you're taking an inner tube ride down some snowy field. you are definitely in the avalanche, and it feels like you're in a washing machine and you're being flipped and tumbled and it is white the entire way, it is very scary. >> the worst disaster struck sunday at stevens pass, northeast of seattle. kristin dal gren has more on the story. >> reporter: the avalanche occurred shortly before noon in what officials call a ski at your own risk area near stevens pass ski resort. witnesses say about a dozen skiers were seen headed to an
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out of bounds area called seventh heaven. >> we lost three amazing people, two of them were my good friends. >> reporter: joel hammond was part of the group, described what they saw before the snow cut loose. >> right when he crossed over the hill, we noticed about a three to four foot fracture, about 30 yards to his right. >> hammond says he watched as the skiers, including a pro, were carried up by the slide. >> this is about where the slide starts. and it would have carried the victims down to here. >> at one point after the avalanche, they're all buried in the snow. they manage to dig themselves out of the snow. at that point, they realize that three of them are in distress, three of the skiers are in distress. they begin cpr. >> reporter: but it was too late for the skiers. three men, age 30, 35, and 45, were pronounced dead on the mountainside. the three men were reportedly well known to the local community, and especially to the
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ski patrol. >> a sad day. i mean, tough when you have a death, and when you have three in one time, it is really hard on all the staff. >> reporter: kristin dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles. rick santorum often argues he can win elections in a swing state, but not the last one. i'm going to talk with senator bob casey, a man that unseated santorum. and how the first family minus the president is spending president's day weekend. details coming your way. help us with an experiment for febreze fabric refresher. they agreed. [ experimenter 1 ] relax, take some nice deep breaths. [ experimenter 2 ] what do you smell? lilac. clean. there's something that's really fresh. a little bit beach-y. like children's blankets. smells like home. [ experimenter 1 ] okay. take your blindfolds off. ♪ hello? [ male announcer ] and now new and improved febreze fabric refresher with up to two times the odor elimination so you can breathe happy, guaranteed.
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welcome back to msnbc. here are some of the stories topping the news now. more than a week after whitney houston died, her cause of death remains unknown. she was laid to rest next to her father in a new jersey cemetery yesterday. a police escort led her gold hearse from the funeral home to the grave cite in westfield. her mom and daughter followed in a limousine. fans lined the streets to say a
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final farewell. a jury will begin deliberating this week on a lacrosse player. mike vick era is covering that. this revealed a tangled relationship of jealousy, mutual in if i dealt, excessive drinking. now a jury must decide if george hughly went to yardly love's room to kill her or whether it was a tragic accident. it has been a long two week trail for the victims and the accused. now he is charged with killing yardly love and it is in the jury's hands. in closing argument, the prosecutor became emotional, scoffing at hugely's claim he went to the apartment to talk that night. punching a hole in the door when she wouldn't let him in. what kind of conversation starter is that? that's the beginning of terror. they reviewed the e-mails he
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sent her after she said she had been with another man. it read in part "i should have killed you." days later, chapman charged, he went to her apartment, beat her and left her to die slowly face down in her bed. they testified she died from blunt force trauma to the head. the final defense witness, a neurosurgeon told jurors he didn't think a blow to the head killed love. >> could you explain out here why you didn't think she died of trauma? >> i thought she died of oxygen deprivation. >> it was a tragic accident, injuries inflicted by hughly and the alcohol he drank earlier. she called it hi perfect bol ee and said he is incapable of the murder, calling it stupid, drunk, not calculating, a boy throat. lawrence suggested jurors consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter instead of premeditated murder. legal experts say his
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drunkenness the night of the death may bolster that case. >> well, legally, if he was so drunk he couldn't form a coherent thought, then he can't be guilty under virginia law of first degree murder. >> reporter: family and friends on both sides have to wait longer for an outcome. the jury got the case late saturday night but don't start deliberations until wednesday after the long holiday weekend. >> thank you. a winter snowstorm that dumped several inches across the south moved off the coast, but not before causing a chain reaction pileup on a tennessee highway. tractor-trailers, a greyhound bus and several cars slammed into each other on interstate 75. five people were taken to the hospital. 50 treated at the scene. lanes of the highway were closed and traffic was backed up for miles at the kentucky border. diet soda may be better for the waistline, bad for the head and heart. new study suggests a daily diet soda increases risk of heart
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attack and stroke by more than 60%. authors of the university of miami study followed 2500 new yorkers for nine years, the cause of the increased risk isn't known. but researchers believe diet soda drinkers could be replacing those saved calories with other unhealthy choices. god speed, john glenn. >> amazing to believe, but 50 years ago, john glenn was the first to orbit earth. he hurd he did into space in 1952, inside a mercury capsule dubbed "friendship 7 he orbited the planet three times." congress cleared a big hurdle reaching agreement to extend the payroll tax cut, but there are more big decisions coming down the road. the tax cut expires with bush era tax cuts by january, and more compromise will be necessary to keep americans from taking a major financial hit. pennsylvania senator robert
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casey is chairman of the joint economic committee and joins me now. sir, it is nice to see you this morning. we know the stance on both sides, the president and democrats wanting to keep bush tax cuts for the middle class, let them expire for the wealthy. republicans against increasing any revenues. is there any room to work towards this common ground, the compromise this year, or will the dust have to settle from 2012 elections to get anything done? >> well, we'll see, thomas. i am grateful to be with you. the first thing that we had to do this year was to make sure we extended the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year, to do the work we had to do on unemployment insurance as well as protect doctors from a fee increase which could effect our medicare beneficiaries. those three items were dealt with, and especially on the payroll tax cut. that's central, vital to the economic growth. without that, we would have seen a sharp reduction in economic growth for the rest of the year. so all of that helps.
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i think it was done in a bipartisan way. it wasn't perfect. there are things i didn't like that i wouldn't have supported, but we came together and compromised. i think the same has to be done when we reach the point to make decisions about deficit and debt and reducing spending, but it doesn't mean because it is election year, we can't continue to work together and try to reach a consensus. and if we don't reach it by election day, we can still do a lot of work to prepare for what should be a bipartisan compromise. >> we talk about bipartisanship, is this indicative of the time frame? there are a lot of partisan lines have been drawn in the past. however, they might weaken in this lame duck session at the end of the year? >> well, we'll see. i do think there's an opportunity for yet again bipartisan agreement on the transportation bill. and fortunately, that's one area we've seen a lot of agreement.
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democrats and republicans so far, there are some republicans in the house that may not be on board yet. but i think we can reach agreement on that. just like the payroll tax cut, that's a big job creator because you're expanding economic growth by helping 160 million americans. so, too, it can be said of the highway bill, which can create hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs. if we can get an agreement on that, i think that will ensure we have some measure of progress and to keep the economy moving. so by the end of the year or towards the end of the year, maybe we can come together and reach an agreement on deficit and debt, reducing spending, and also investing and priorities like education and medical research and law enforcement. >> senator, while we have you here, want to remind everybody, you have your own re-election fight. you won big against rick santorum in '06, but he is doubling down on social issues around the country, moving right
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of right, in a realm with conservatives in america. is that a plus for all democrats that are trying to keep a focus on the economy, which is gaining steam? and what do you give to the surge that santorum is seeing nationally? >> thomas, i think i'll leave a lot of analysis to the pundits about the republican race for president. they're having quite a battle internally. we'll see how they resolve that. but i do think that this is a year where when we reach the points of having candidates on either side, both in the presidential race and senate and house races across the country, people have a basic choice to make, and i think the further away any elected official gets from focusing on jobs and the economy, i think that can create a problem for them. the main focus now has to be on putting people back to work, investing in strategies we know work, and putting forth compromises like we did on the payroll tax cut, which in
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pennsylvania means 6.7 million people will benefit from that kind of a tax cut. i think there's a lot of time for politics and debate, but i think we have to focus on jobs and building a stronger economy. >> when we talk about analysis, though, sir, and look at what's taking place in michigan, a lot of analysts saying it will be a punch in the gut if he steals michigan from romney, you look at santorum in that state, what do you see happening from the primary to the general? >> it's a hard one to predict. we've had an interesting year so far in politics. one thing you should never try to do is predict with any degree of certainty. but look, in pennsylvania, i know this, whether you're a democrat or republican, no matter what you're running for, if you're not focused on the economy and not focused on reducing unemployment, unfortunately our state has been relatively, relatively better, in a better position than a lot
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of other states, but we still have over 480, almost as high as 485,000 people out of work. so my job, and i think the job of any elected official at any level in either party is to focus on those who are still struggling in a very tough economy, and i think that will determine the political fate of a candidate or any candidate. >> senator robert casey, nice to see you this morning. thank you. >> thanks, thomas. >> absolutely. all right. so think about this. if things went senator john mccain's way, he would be running for re-election now, he is not though, and he is weighing in on the state of the 2012 race. plus, the president's secret army, why the highly skilled, highly advanced special forces are quickly becoming the president's weapon of choice. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe?
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or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? ask your doctor if spiriva can help. can you enjoy vegetables with sauce and still reach your weight loss goals? you can with green giant frozen vegetables. over twenty delicious varieties have sixty calories or less per serving and are now weight watchers-endorsed. try green giant frozen vegetables with sauce. election concerns from the last presidential nominee. john mccain admitted yesterday
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he is concerned about the likelihood that president obama will be reelected come november. the reason, super pacs and onslaught of negative attacks in the republican primary race. nearly all the republican candidates have the edge over president obama in the battle ground state of iowa now. according to a des moines register poll, ron paul leads the president 49 to 42%. rick santorum also polls better than the president, 48-44. mitt romney, a slight edge, 46-44%. but president obama would easily beat newt gingrich by a 14 point margin. the first lady and the girls are in aspen. according to aspen daily news, arrived friday, are staying with owners of the aspen skiing company. last year, they spent president's day in veil. former president bill clinton celebrated president's day with a game of hoops. he was court side.
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in the third quarter, the heat presented him with a number 42 jersey. he got a standing o. and caught a basketball that went out of bounds, good hands there, mr. president. they are the president's right hand men, never see their faces, hear their names. navy s.e.a.l.s made head linings for the rescue of an american aid worker in somalia. members of s.e.a.l.s team six went into the desert to save jessica buchanan. this daring, risky operation unfolded hours before the president's state of the union address. news week looks at how he used this weapon in a piece called obama's secret army. the author joins me this morning, daniel klaidman. a great read for people interested in what's taking place in how s.e.a.l. teams are used as a strategic weapon. much of the piece is about the
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rescue of captain richard phillips from alabama. why is this such a high stakes operation, not just for people involved, but for the president and the military to use them in this way? >> well, hi, thomas, thanks for having me. you know, these are always high stake operations, otherwise, navy s.e.a.l.s wouldn't be doing it. they are the most prepared, the most capable of doing these kinds of operations, whether on the high seas, or going into lawless countries like somalia and rescuing hostages. the president, the capabilities of navy s.e.a.l.s and other special operations forces in general are very much in line with president obama's basic strategic goals as he continues to prosecute his war on terror. that is to say that they are targeted, they're surgical, they are able to get in and out of places very quickly, and when
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necessary, they are lethal. >> with the recent highly publicized successes, daniel, of special ops assignments, there's a movement now to expand the role of military operations, increasing both the ranks and reach around the world. why is this push not received with open arms by everyone, given the fact that they have been so highly successful, at least in recent publicized missions? >> well, it's really interesting. on one hand, it does make sense to sort of expand the footprint of navy s.e.a.l.s and other special operators. for one thing, at a time when we're scaling back our defense budgets, they are nimble, they don't require the same kind of infrastructure that, you know, armies do, but the problem for some people, two-fold. one is that they are supposed to be special operations forces, and the bigger they get, the more they're operating around the world, there's a fear that
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that specialness will be diluted, and you know, if your numbers are much larger, you're operating in a lot more places, can you really be that special. the other fear, particularly among diplomats, people in the state department, is that these forces are operating often in places where we are not technically in a state of war, and there is a real potential for diplomatic blow back when things go badly in places like yemen, somalia, pakistan, so there's a little nervousness about that. >> daniel, nice to see you this morning. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> absolutely. okay. so hopefully you are one of the many people that do have off work today to celebrate the federal holiday of president's day, or in other words, are you out there shopping if you have the day off? today's sales compare with black friday numbers and you're going to be surprised, you'll save more most likely today. we will explain after this.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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all right, so it may a day to honor general george and honest abe but for most of us, president's day is more about money and particularly spending it. so where do you save and how does it play out against the markets. we have our guest, vera to give us her insight. happy president's day to you. so, let's look at this, when we check today sales, the stats that is for president's day, it out paces black friday. i think that people will be surprised. 46% off versus a 42.1% savings on black friday. what motivates the retailers to put this big number out there, you know, to motivate the sales or attempt to. >> the holidays are over, so
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it's a lull, they need to drive traffic and boost sales and move that winter merchandise, it's been a mild winter. so we are talking 70% off, clear out the old and bring in the new, and they know that people wait for three day weekends to shop. they wait for the discounts and head out. >> so everyone, we were making a joke that today is a big day to buy a mattress, because of the president's day mattress sale, but there are other big ticket items that you can get today discount wise if you know where to look. >> home furnishings overall as a category are discounted the trees are down and the holidays are over, and people are looking to buy new carpeting and whatever. you are looking up to 50% off of that. floor sample approximates they bring out the old and exercise equipment --
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>> love me a good floor sample. scratch against the wall baby. >> exercise equipment p if you looking for a treadmill or various apparel, up to 50% off there and we see jewelry marks down, post valentine's day, who wants it, but the valentine's day brand you'll see the most significant discounts. but the first of the swimsuit sales start now, 25% to 35% off p >> starting to suck it in now. nice to see you. thank you. >> thank you. >> that will do it for us today, don't go anywhere, "now" with alex wagner is coming up next with a special president's day holiday edition of "now." >> very special i'll be talking about my at home trainer i've not bought yet. will santorum's position on public school and social issues
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create problems for him in a general election and if michigan was not enough of a challenge for mitt romney now there's talk of pa brokered convention and dylan ratigan weighs in on civil politics in the 2012 races, what happened to playing nice? and a president's day quiz to you, who appear on the billion dollar bill, hint not donald trump. answers to that and now when "now" starts. 4 [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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